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Pioneers pick up key conference win, edging past D-B

Tanner Cook • Jan 31, 2020 at 10:24 PM

On homecoming Friday night, David Crockett closed out a huge Big Seven Conference win over Dobyns-Bennett — topping the Indians 42-40 behind exceptional defense and taking care of the basketball down the stretch.

D-B’s Zane Whitson was fouled with four-tenths of a second left in the game and missed both free throws that would have tied the game.

Crockett (16-8, 6-3), which tied the Indians (11-11, 6-3) for second place in the league standings, seized a two-possession lead with 2:15 left at 40-36 and the Indians could not get the game back square.

“We focused a lot on taking away the high post, which is what beat us in the last game,” Crockett head coach Cody Connell said. “They kept getting the ball to Zane and he killed us down low. We also took away the shooters and we held arguably the best player in the conference in Abiah (Releford) to five points. As a coach, I can’t ask for anything more.”

Dawson Wagner led the Pioneers with 10 points while Donta Hackler had nine. Crockett, normally a good shooting team from the perimeter, shot just 16% from long range, making four such shots.

“We won the ball game with only one kid in double digits,” Connell said. “If you would have told me that before the game, I would’ve said you were crazy.”

The Tribe did not shoot the ball well at all as Brady Stump led the Indians with just nine points.

“We don’t have a team that can blow people out, so our games are going to be close,” D-B head coach Chris Poore said. “What wins close game is what we’re not good at right now. We’re not gritty and tough enough to get a stop when we have to have it. We’re passive at times and we turn the ball over too much.

“I don’t think that we’re where we need to be. Most of it is maturity and understanding. Those are areas that we’ll grow in, but we need to grow up fast if we want to have a chance.”

The first half was mostly a defensive struggle for both teams, but Crockett was able to grab a 21-17 halftime lead thanks to two late 3-pointers by Eric Dunbar and Avery Letcher.

The defense held strong for Crockett as well, holding the Indians scoreless for four minutes. D-B’s Brady Stump had a half-court shot, which he launched from in front of the Crockett student section, rim out at the end of the second quarter.

GIRLS

Dobyns-Bennett 40, David Crockett 35

The Lady Indians used a potent inside game to win Friday night’s road conference matchup against David Crockett.

Jabrea Johnson, Caitlyn Wallace and Injoi Bristol all came up in big spots for the Tribe in the second half, contributing 11, six and six points, respectively.

“This is what this team has been about,” D-B head coach Bill Francis said. “I thought Elle (Francis) started us off while Megan (Ayers) and Jabrea carried in the second half. (Jaden) Potts managed the game well down the stretch and we had seven players really contribute in more ways than scoring.”

After letting Crockett (13-12, 4-5) get the lead at 17-15 with 7:52 left in the third quarter, D-B went on an 8-0 run to seize a 23-17 lead and never looked back.

A 2-3 zone defense extended out beyond the 3-point line for the Lady Indians (19-7, 8-1) most of the night and was pretty effective, stymieing the Lady Pioneers for five points in the first quarter.

“We tried to mix it up tonight, switching between man and zone,” Francis said. “We got away from the zone in the second half. Baldwin is tough and she really stepped up and scored for them tonight. We didn’t really expect that.”

It was a pretty even first half and the Lady Pioneers trailed by five entering the last two minutes of the second quarter. That didn’t last that long and Crockett had tied the score at 15 at the break thanks to a Mackenzie Baldwin three-point play with no time left on the clock.

Baldwin had a game-high 12 points while Halle Scott contributed 11 for Crockett.

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